Alternative payment methods for apps: Apple fights against regulations

Allowing purchase links in apps will force Apple to change its business model. The court of appeal must overturn the impending injunction.

 Alternative payment methods for apps: Apple is fighting an order

Apple tries with all its might to prevent a serious app store change. An injunction issued in the legal dispute with Epic Games is intended to force the group from December 9 in the USA to allow apps to link to external purchase offers. This has been strictly forbidden up to now.

Apple’s first objection to the order recently failed. In the second attempt, Apple has now turned to the competent US Court of Appeals to suspend the injunction before it comes into force – and ultimately to overturn it entirely.

Apple sees App Store under threat

The injunction force Apple to change its business model that will transform “customers, developers and Apple itself” harms, the company warns in the input. There is no evidence that the ban on external purchase links has “anti-competitive effects” or that the plaintiff Epic Games suffered damage as a result.

Should the injunction come into force, the App Store would become less secure: Customers would be threatened with “new rip-offs”, developers a loss of trust and reduced income and Apple itself ” ;loses control of a crucial component of its efficient and successful business model” (Case Nos. 21-16506 & 21-16695, Epic Games vs. Apple, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit).

iPhone and iPad apps may only be distributed through Apple’s App Store and have to process the sale of digital content via Apple’s in-app payment interface (in-app purchase) – Apple can thus automatically withhold a commission of up to 30 percent of the sales. At the same time, developers are prohibited from integrating links or other references to external purchase options into their apps. According to the decree, Apple must remove this ban.

Fortnite no longer in the App Store and Google Play

Such bans are common on platforms such as the App Store, Apple argues in its submission – and would even be seen as pro-competitive by US courts. The injunction has no basis and Epic Games has no legal standing anyway because the game company no longer sells an app in the App Store.

Epic integrated its own payment interface into Fortnite last year, provoking an ejection from Apple’s App Store and Google Play – The game company then took Apple and Google to court. Since then, Fortnite has not returned to the App Store or Google Play, and the game will continue to be distributed as a direct download on Android.

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